Q. I’ve noticed that my sales representatives are talking to my referral sources. Should I be skeptical, and if so, why?
A. I’ve come across some providers who have had concerns when their sales representatives in-service medical professionals on their manufacturers’ products. I can appreciate that this makes providers anxious, because they have built relationships with these referral sources, as they should.
This is how I like to handle sales representatives in-servicing medical professionals: If providers want to set up (and pay for) in-services and have sales representatives attend the meetings to review products, that’s fine. However, if sales representatives schedule in-services directly with facilities, they go in alone, provide the in-services and then do their best to let providers know what they covered.
Because manufacturers spend large sums of money on research and development, when they develop new technology and products, they expect them to be introduced to the marketplace. While some providers take the initiative to do this on their own, most do not.
In either case, it is the responsibility of the sales representative to keep all parties aware of developments that will make their patients’ lives better. Quality sales representatives will share their knowledge in an accurate and non-biased manner; anything short of that is unacceptable.
If providers have concerns, they should address them directly with their sales representatives. Who knows, both parties may find synergies to build business and fulfill lives.
Mike Laky is president and CEO of MSL Associates. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.